Posts Tagged ‘New Times’

First Fridays keep on changing

Artlink Phoenix hosts an artwalk known as First Fridays in Downtown Phoenix. According to the Wikipedia Article:

Since 1994 the monthly First Fridays artwalk has grown to become the largest monthly artwalk in the United States. Increasing interest in this area has prompted Rooselvelt Row to becoming more pedestrian-friendly and is supportive of small local independent businesses that give downtown Phoenix character.

That is an uncited bit, so I have a sneaking suspicion it was placed by a promoter. I have attended First Fridays a couple of times, each time concentrating on a different area of downtown. When I first started going last year, there was a map available online. Now you have to find one at a downtown business. I think Burton Barr has them. Now I mainly stick to Roosevelt Row.
There has been a lot of controversy in the last couple of years, and that has affected the feel of the event. Phoenix Metblog Author pho_william spoke about his experience here. I have observed the changes from the controversies myself.

The first time I went, it was like a big street fair. I loved it. Crowds, vendors, art and fun! I contrast this to when I went on the 4th of July and there is a significant change. During July’s artwalk, you could barely tell there was an event going on. People were there, but they tended to attend just one little area, gallery, or concert and stay. It might have been the heat, but it the first time I went it was warm too.

The Phoenix New Times has covered the issues with the street vendors.

The reason The Bird and others gravitate to Roosevelt on First Fridays is for the very libertine, Fellini-esque atmosphere that the Esser-Delgado axis wants to kill, not to ogle the pricey baubles at Esser and partner Cindy Dach’s boutique, MADE.

I have to agree with that. On the plus side, the galleries and performance spaces are still awesome. This Friday I will be at The Firehouse. They have frequent shows, a coffee house and a performance space. I will be there to see good friends, who are also fire spinners, do their second performance as Sin Aesthesia. I would love to see you there, and you will be hearing more from me.

Sin Aesthesia at The Firehouse

Sin Aesthesia at The Firehouse

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